Monday, July 15, 2013

Garden Update

What super weird weather we are having this summer! I feel like the rain is going to wash the house away. With all this rain, the garden has been a struggle. We received 9 inches of rain in June, and it has rained every day so far in July. On Saturday it only hit 81 degrees! The weatherman told us this morning that it hasn't hit 90 yet this month.

Now for the readers in the northern states, those temperatures may sound like a delightful summer to you! To us in the Southeast, it's cold. I grow peanuts and grapes. Both of them require heat. I need temperatures well over 90 degrees from June to October for them to be successful. 

If I had known that it would be this cold, I could have planted the peanuts in old tires to give them the extra heat they need - but alas, I didn't! I am OK with the peanuts so far, as long as it gets hot (and stops raining) soon. The peanuts are flowering now so no harm done yet. If it doesn't stop raining down here, you can expect the price of peanut butter to go way up in the fall!

I am sad to say the grapes are a total loss. The rainy weather last summer put them at a disadvantage in the late summer months but I thought I could save them and nurse them back to health this year. However, the wet and cold has killed the vines. I was growing Thompson Seedless grapes and they are very susceptible to fungus diseases. I will be removing these in the next few weeks. Next spring, I will plant something that can better handle the humidity.

I am SO glad that I decided not to plant corn this year. My decision was based on my work schedule, however, I now know that I would not have been able to keep up the spray schedule needed in this weather. I will plant my 'popcorn' corn next year.

A few people at church yesterday told me their tomatoes are splitting. In drier weather all that would do is make for an ugly tomato. In this constant rain, those split tomatoes are rotting. Even spray won't help them. The good news for me is - I am not having that problem. I believe it it because all of my tomatoes are in pots. The soil is quite moist, but not overly moist because the excess runs out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pots.  I am keeping a constant watch on them in case any fungus issue arise. Here is a picture of one of my plants.

The blueberries are doing fine as well. No fungus issues with them. However, the ones that are ripening now are somewhat tasteless. Never the less, they still go well in a breakfast smoothie!

No real problems with the green beans either. They do need a bit more sun, but they are hanging in there and are just about to flower. Here is a picture.

Tobacco looks good too. I hope the extra rain isn't diluting the potency of the leaves! (I am not enough of a tobacco expert to know the answer to that.) I will need good strong tobacco to make an insecticide. This is a picture of my front walkway next to my front door. The little tobacco plant (in the front middle of the picture)  is wild tobacco. I have nine wild tobacco plants in the ground this year. The larger one on the right (in the back of the picture  - just to the left of the downspout) is called 'One Sucker'. It self-sowed in that spot from last year. It is just about to flower!

As I mentioned in an earlier post a few weeks ago, all of my parsley died. It was sprayed by the lawn care people by mistake. I guess the serviceman thought they were weeds. I lost some other herbs as well, but the parsley is the one I really use the most. I even had one that was two years old and ready to make seeds.To say the least, I was very disappointed. So, I went to the big box store and got some new ones. These are planted at the end of the squash bed. I didn't put them back in the herb garden.

 I also started a few more parsley plants from seed and put those in the other end of the squash bed. They are really tiny and a bit hard to see right now. But the rain hasn't killed them yet!

One last picture for today, here are my apples. This is a Golden Delicious apple tree. They are hanging in fairly well - I am only spraying them for fungus every two weeks. No bug issues at all! That is because I have put a barrier between the bugs and the apples.

I now have a reason to save all my old stockings! I cut the toe off and slipped it over the apple. This process should work well for the next few years. I won't be doing this when the tree gets older and starts producing hundreds of apples.

If any of you are currently in a drought condition, I will pray that Heavenly Father sends you our rain! We don't need anymore!

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